Changing How We Change – Thoughts from the CEB Sales & Marketing Summit

 

Posted By Qvidian | Oct 11, 2013

 

Earlier this week, some of the Qvidian team (myself included) participated in the Corporate Executive Board’s Sales & Marketing Summit out in Las Vegas.  Change was an underlying theme throughout the conference.  Dealing with both internal change (your sales force, management) and external change (more educated buyers, the changing buying environment) is becoming standard and not an anomaly. 

Today, there are many people involved in a typical purchase that weren’t part of the process 5 years ago.  This shows the change within many organizations’ buying practices but also illustrates the change needed on the selling end.  Sales reps need to make sure they have spoken with the right people at the table and address their individual concerns.  Tailoring your message with customized content is key to being successful in this environment.

Your message should help your customer understand the true business problem they have and help them shift their way of thinking and behavior.  Remember the blue arrow? Customers are almost 60% of the way through the buying process before they engage with vendors. It’s more important now than ever for sales people to tailor the message to coach a customer through recognizing their business problem and showing the path to the solution, and not just pitch a product.  Changing your selling strategy, to help your prospects harness their change, is a complex and powerful thing.

Of course, I’d be remiss without mentioning our sponsored session held on Monday by Fraser Marshall, President & CLO of Ellison Technologies.  Fraser spoke in great detail about Ellison Technology’s journey implementing Challenger Selling and their learning experiences along the way.  Fraser has also integrated the selling methodology with Qvidian’s Sales Playbooks to better standardize the selling process and support their coaching efforts.  (We’re putting together a recorded recap of this session and will be sure to share it soon!)

Were you at the CEB Sales & Marketing Summit? What were your key takeaways?